Tenn. Primary Preview: Will It Be Corker vs. Ford?
Volunteer State voters will go the polls on Thursday to decide, among other things, which Republican candidate of three will face off against Democratic Rep. Harold Ford this fall in the contest to replace Sen. Bill Frist, who is retiring from the Senate.
The three GOP candidates vying for a chance to take on Ford are former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker and former House members Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary. Corker has the lead ahead of the primary, according to most polls. All three candidates are criss-crossing the state in a mad dash for the finish line.
A bruising race from the beginning, the primary has turned particularly nasty in its final days. All three candidates have run negative ads, but an independent watchdog organization said ads by Corker and Bryant contained "distorted charges." The Annenberg Public Policy Center's Factcheck.org said a Corker ad's assertion that Bryant and Hilleary voted to raise their own pay when they were in Congress was "grossly misleading." The group also said a Bryant ad that claimed Corker had not paid his taxes was "unfounded."
As they chase the more moderate Corker, Bryant and Hilleary are each trying to convince primary voters that he is the true conservatives in the race. Bryant won a straw poll of about 400 people at the Tennessee Conservative Union's Reagan Day dinner over the July 30-31 weekend.
A victory by Corker, with his potential appeal to moderates and swing voters, could make the general election an even tougher race for Democrats.
Ford has received support from former President Bill Clinton and Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen and is seen an excellent candidate who so far has run a solid campaign. But as in other parts of the South, Democrats are the underdog.
For his part Ford is trying to capitalize on the GOP infighting by appearing above the fray, which is easy to do without a serious primary challenger on the ballot.
"Tennesseans are fed up with high gas prices, illegal immigration, expensive health care and an Iraqi war that is worsening and maybe growing," Ford told the Maryville Daily Times. "They are also fed up with politicians who spend more time attacking one another and lying about each others record than trying to bring people together to solve some of the big problems we face."
Tennessee voters will also choose party nominees for the governor's race and various U.S. House races. The gubernatorial race is particularly crowded, with seven Republicans, six independents, and three Democrats all lining up to challenge Bredesen.
August 2, 2006; 4:40 PM ET
Categories: Governors , House , Senate
Save & Share: Previous: The Fix Podcast: Crabs, Clams & Candidates
Next: CT Senate: Lieberman Trails Ahead of Primary
Posted by: Sarah | September 20, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: swingebreech | August 3, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Chattanooga Democrat | August 3, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Mike in CA from TN | August 3, 2006 2:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Southern Progressive | August 3, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Jim2 | August 3, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Andy R | August 3, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Drindl | August 3, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2006 9:07 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: RMill | August 3, 2006 9:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: peter | August 3, 2006 2:09 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Q | August 3, 2006 12:52 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: lylepink | August 2, 2006 9:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Will | August 2, 2006 9:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: TimnChattanooga | August 2, 2006 8:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JimD in FL | August 2, 2006 8:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Drindl | August 2, 2006 8:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 2, 2006 8:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: lylepink | August 2, 2006 7:55 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.